Sydney Fringe has today (25th May 2020) advised that Sydney Fringe Festival, the largest independent arts festival in NSW, representing thousands of artists across all art forms, will not take place as planned for 2020 due to ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions.
Sydney Fringe Festival Chief Executive, Kerri Glasscock noted “we are devastated not to be presenting our annual festival but the uncertainty and risk no longer make it viable for us proceed this year. Instead of this year’s festival, Fringe will undertake a number of new, innovative projects designed to lead the independent sector through the vital recovery process following the pandemic.”
One new project will see Fringe partner with five international Fringe Festivals to present an online Global Fringe event to be streamed live during September 2020. Working together with Stockholm Fringe, Brighton Fringe, New Zealand Fringe, San Diego Fringe and Hollywood Fringe, Sydney Fringe will present new and recent work through a new digital platform. This digital platform will premier four Sydney produced events and eight international events as part of Global Fringe, with each production to be professionally recorded and streamed to audiences globally.
Glasscock added “as COVID-19 forces us to re-examine the very foundations of live performance business models, Sydney Fringe have been working to explore meaningful ways to bring our artists and our audiences together digitally. We are excited to partner with some of the world’s most respected Fringe Festivals to present this new digital model of Fringe for the unique circumstances we find ourselves in this year.”
The new digital performance program will allow Sydney Fringe audiences to experience international work as never before, while providing local Sydney Fringe artists with the opportunity to share their work on an international stage.
Dependent on public health guidelines, the Global Fringe may allow for some in person experiences this September.
Glasscock also advised “should social distancing guidelines allow, we hope to present Sydney Fringe events live at the Old 505 Theatre in Newtown, with international works streamed cinema-style on the big screen. A decision on this will be made closer to the time in line with advice from Government and health authorities.